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Cycling in Waterloo Region
#61
I've been thinking a lot about how nice it would be for their to be a planned cycling network for the region that specifically identifies trunk routes for cyclists and improves those routes for higher quality infrastructure.

Last summer I was in Copenhagen briefly and it was eye-opening how comprehensive their cycling infrastructure was; even minor collector roads had cycling lanes that were separated from the car lanes by a curb. Doing such upgrades here in Waterloo Region would be expensive, but if they were to change the design standard for roadways in the region, requiring exclusive bike lanes to be included on all arterial roads when undergoing reconstruction except where the ROW is too narrow, and requiring painted lanes on collector roads, it would be a good way to getting to a more comprehensive network.

My personal starting wish list for exclusive lanes:
- Erb and Bridgeport from Fischer Hallman to Lancaster
- University from Westmount to Bridge
- Northfield from Westmount to Bridge
- Weber/King St. E from King St. near St. Jacob's Market to Fountain
- Westmount from University to Fischer Hallman
- Highland/Queen/Lexington from Fischer Hallman to Bridge
- Ottawa from Fischer Hallman to Lackner
- Homer Watson from Blair to Sterling

For starters. The Bridgeport/Erb one would be a fantastic start, though University would make a lot of sense with students.
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#62
(02-12-2015, 09:30 AM)jamincan Wrote: I've been thinking a lot about how nice it would be for their to be a planned cycling network for the region that specifically identifies trunk routes for cyclists and improves those routes for higher quality infrastructure.

Last summer I was in Copenhagen briefly and it was eye-opening how comprehensive their cycling infrastructure was; even minor collector roads had cycling lanes that were separated from the car lanes by a curb. Doing such upgrades here in Waterloo Region would be expensive, but if they were to change the design standard for roadways in the region, requiring exclusive bike lanes to be included on all arterial roads when undergoing reconstruction except where the ROW is too narrow, and requiring painted lanes on collector roads, it would be a good way to getting to a more comprehensive network.

My personal starting wish list for exclusive lanes:
- Erb and Bridgeport from Fischer Hallman to Lancaster
- University from Westmount to Bridge
- Northfield from Westmount to Bridge
- Weber/King St. E from King St. near St. Jacob's Market to Fountain
- Westmount from University to Fischer Hallman
- Highland/Queen/Lexington from Fischer Hallman to Bridge
- Ottawa from Fischer Hallman to Lackner
- Homer Watson from Blair to Sterling

For starters. The Bridgeport/Erb one would be a fantastic start, though University would make a lot of sense with students.

That would take care of a lot of core mobility, which would be fantastic. Certainly the worst part of my regular biking range is on Erb and Bridgeport, at night, from Weber out to Lancaster.

I wonder about Erb and Bridgeport east of Weber. They are sort of Mississauga-style roads, although an order of magnitude less bad. One-way streets are sometimes bad for street life. On the other hand (for some reason), they are residential, so it's not like they would be that lively.
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#63
All things being equal, one-way streets are bad for street life, safety, and just about anything besides moving cars quickly. I don't want to get hyperbolic, either, because you're right that Erb and Bridgeport are not nearly as bad as some streets. But they could be better, and east of Weber they are wide enough to put in fully-protected bike lanes (or a separated two-way cycle track on one or the other of them) and still have room to widen the sidewalks and still move car traffic well enough. They're residential, so it's true they wouldn't be too lively, but they could be made into a safe cycling corridor.
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#64
One shortcoming in the current cycling infrastructure is that there aren't really many good crossings of the expressway for cyclists in Waterloo, Lexington is really the only decent one because there isn't an interchange. Ignoring bike lanes for a moment, they could go a long ways to improving the situation just by altering the interchanges so they don't have high speed merge and exit lanes on Bridgeport and University.

I don't commute by bike though, so getting out of Waterloo toward Conestogo and Elora and that general area is my priority.
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#65
(02-12-2015, 11:32 AM)jamincan Wrote: One shortcoming in the current cycling infrastructure is that there aren't really many good crossings of the expressway for cyclists in Waterloo, Lexington is really the only decent one because there isn't an interchange. Ignoring bike lanes for a moment, they could go a long ways to improving the situation just by altering the interchanges so they don't have high speed merge and exit lanes on Bridgeport and University.

I don't commute by bike though, so getting out of Waterloo toward Conestogo and Elora and that general area is my priority.

I saw a video about some European town that had like 20-something bicycle highway crossings. We are sorely lacking there, and yes, crossing the expressway is always bad in my experience. (Lexington could be better, but I usually don't go that far north).
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#66
(02-12-2015, 11:54 AM)plam Wrote: I saw a video about some European town that had like 20-something bicycle highway crossings. We are sorely lacking there, and yes, crossing the expressway is always bad in my experience. (Lexington could be better, but I usually don't go that far north).

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2012/...ajor-road/

I've flogged that one a lot. Smile
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#67
(02-12-2015, 12:27 PM)zanate Wrote:
(02-12-2015, 11:54 AM)plam Wrote: I saw a video about some European town that had like 20-something bicycle highway crossings. We are sorely lacking there, and yes, crossing the expressway is always bad in my experience. (Lexington could be better, but I usually don't go that far north).

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2012/...ajor-road/

I've flogged that one a lot. Smile

Yep! I guess I saw it on a blog, not on Twitter (where I was looking for it). Such crossings would help a lot!
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#68
(02-12-2015, 09:30 AM)jamincan Wrote: My personal starting wish list for exclusive lanes:
- Erb and Bridgeport from Fischer Hallman to Lancaster
- University from Westmount to Bridge
- Northfield from Westmount to Bridge
- Weber/King St. E from King St. near St. Jacob's Market to Fountain
- Westmount from University to Fischer Hallman
- Highland/Queen/Lexington from Fischer Hallman to Bridge
- Ottawa from Fischer Hallman to Lackner
- Homer Watson from Blair to Sterling

For starters. The Bridgeport/Erb one would be a fantastic start, though University would make a lot of sense with students.

PS: http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#15/-80.5.../gray/bike
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#69
(02-12-2015, 03:21 PM)plam Wrote: PS: http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#15/-80.5.../gray/bike

The Strava heatmap is a pretty handy tool, but for planning purposes, I wonder if the users wouldn't steer more toward serious cyclists and under sample people commuting for work or just riding recreationally.

It definitely does show, however, how integral the Iron Horse and Laurel Trails are for non-motorists. Speaking of the Iron Horse Trail, clearly most users just jaywalk or cut across Victoria. If they were to detach West from Strange and have it terminate at the Iron Horse Trail, it would probably be safer for everyone; the awkward geometry of the intersection would be gone and trail users would be crossing at a light. I'm sure they could work the signals out so that traffic on Victoria is minimally inconvenienced by the additional light.
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#70
(02-12-2015, 03:50 PM)jamincan Wrote:
(02-12-2015, 03:21 PM)plam Wrote: PS: http://labs.strava.com/heatmap/#15/-80.5.../gray/bike

The Strava heatmap is a pretty handy tool, but for planning purposes, I wonder if the users wouldn't steer more toward serious cyclists and under sample people commuting for work or just riding recreationally.

It definitely does show, however, how integral the Iron Horse and Laurel Trails are for non-motorists. Speaking of the Iron Horse Trail, clearly most users just jaywalk or cut across Victoria. If they were to detach West from Strange and have it terminate at the Iron Horse Trail, it would probably be safer for everyone; the awkward geometry of the intersection would be gone and trail users would be crossing at a light. I'm sure they could work the signals out so that traffic on Victoria is minimally inconvenienced by the additional light.

Probably biases towards road riders, even. That would be consistent with the high traffic on Erb and Bridgeport, which fail to be awesome for many things but work well for getting out of town. I think that's also why Lancaster is so popular.

Yes, that Iron Horse intersection at Victoria is awful and it's not even clear that going to the intersection is even safer, because it's a weird intersection. Kind of like all of the intersections in Boston, but we're not in Boston here.

I'd rather cross Victoria either at the intersection or midblock than cross Caroline and Erb though.
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#71
I think the city of Waterloo really dropped the ball on the lexington road diet a couple years ago, that stretch of road is a pointless speedway that really doesn't have enough traffic to justify 4 lanes.

I've taken to using the lights at Victoria when I'm going to Waterloo, I feel like it averages out over the long-term and it keeps me from those awkward occasions when one person wants to stop and "let" people pass but no one in the other lane does.

I agree about the Erb/Caroline intersection... I try to avoid it whenever I can but I've taken to just use Father David Bauer, especially now that the stretch of trail that goes by the train station is closed. The lights probably don't have bike sensors but I've always been lucky to have a car or two around to trip the sensors for me (or that might be a timed light, I don't ride enough through there to say for sure)
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#72
http://kitchener.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=566795
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#73
Waterloo Council approved segregated bike lanes for Uptown yesterday
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#74
Waterloo approves segregated bike lanes on King
May 26, 2015 | Paige Desmond | Waterloo Region Record | Link

Quote:WATERLOO — After much encouragement from the cycling community, and a bit of criticism, Waterloo council unanimously approved the installation of segregated bike lanes on King Street Monday night.

"What I understand we're doing here is we're rightsizing our road to make all road users feel better respected in that space," said Coun. Diane Freeman, an avid cyclist.

Ward Coun. Melissa Durrell said the project team worked hard.

"We knew we were going to do this once and we wanted to do it right," she said.

The lanes are generally preferred to painted, on-street lanes because they physically separate bikes from traffic with a small curb.

The work is part of the uptown streetscape improvement project being undertaken in co-operation with the Region of Waterloo.

Following regional approval in June the plan will see a redesign of sidewalk, road, lighting and bike lane infrastructure from Erb Street all the way to University Avenue at a cost of at least $10 million.

Seven delegations told councillors what they think of the plan.

"Tonight we have the opportunity to make the uptown a truly complete street where everyone can belong and be safe," said Mike Boos of the Tri-Cities Transport Action Group, which endorsed the plan.

Construction on the entire length would take place from 2017 to 2019, likely in phases, with the city working from Erb Street to Central Street and the region continuing from Central to University Avenue.

Patti Brooks, executive director of the Uptown Business Improvement Area, said business would prefer the work start as soon as possible following light rail transit construction because businesses just want to get it over with.

"Making the LRT and the streetscape project be seamless is probably the best idea," Brooks said.

Graham Whiting, a cyclist, business improvement area member and a member of the project committee, said he was worried about the loss of 22 on-street parking spaces on the west side of King Street.

"You need to be very careful to make sure we don't impact those businesses which are vital to our uptown too dramatically," he said.

Whiting noted he might lose a few friends in the sustainability crowd for his comments, and asked that through the detailed design process for the project the loss of parking be given attention.

Phil Hewitson, manager of active transportation and light rail, said the city approved a transportation master plan in 2011 that emphasizes complete streets for all modes of transportation.

"We do not want to pit one transportation mode against another," he said.

Chris Klein, of the region's active transportation advisory committee, said the importance of improved pedestrian infrastructure shouldn't be overlooked.

"Above all uptown Waterloo must be walkable first," Klein said.

The proposal:

•Four-metre wide sidewalks on both sides of the street, with tree plantings and benches between the sidewalk and bike lanes

•1.8-metre wide segregated bike lane on the west side of the street

•1.5-metre wide segregated bike lane on the east side of the street

•Parking between the road and sidewalk on the east side only

•Elimination of 22 parking spaces on the west side of the street

•One lane for vehicle traffic in each direction

•New lighting
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#75
For those folks who would like to see Lexington become something a little bit more friendly and bikeable, make sure this is on your calendar and please attend if you can!

Columbia Street/Lexington Road environmental study (Class EA)

June 3, 2015, from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. at the Mennonite Brethren Church located at 245 Lexington Road, Waterloo.

http://www.waterloo.ca/en/living/columbi...ssment.asp


[Image: Columbia_Lexington_map.png]
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